By Jaunty Staff Writer and Sunny Basra, Jaunty graduate
Sunny Basra has always been a bubbly person. A constant center of social gravity, she's your prototypical, natural extrovert. Originally from the Central Valley, she went on to study communication in college and now works for PepsiCo. "I'm in sales," she explains. "My job is to meet new people."
While she's always felt socially "above average," in early 2014 she wanted to add new depth to her conversation skills. This was right after she moved to San Francisco, where she found herself in social environments where she knew no one. She wanted to get past the shallow conversations that are standard fare at parties, those that feel "very surface, almost
like an interview."
Sunny found out about Jaunty and was intrigued by the free workshop. "I've always been really interested in why people behave the way they do. Any opportunity to get to learn more about this is like winning the lottery for me." After being impressed by the quality of the workshop, she signed up for Jaunty's six-week course.
While her college communication classes were "theoretical and intellectual," Jaunty's course was experience-based, with real-time feedback from the instructors—no textbooks needed.
Interestingly, when she told her colleagues, family and friends she was taking a social intelligence class, they said, "Why would you need that?" Sunny's confident and sociable demeanor had always disguised the anxiety she'd felt at times. "That's why people were so surprised... Whether you think you have social anxiety or not, everyone has some social anxiety. Some people feel a little more nervous when they're talking to new people. Other people feel more nervous with public speaking. Jaunty gave me the formula for how to communicate with others," Sunny says. "Now whatever social situation I'm in, I know I'm going to be generally successful using this formula."
With the new conversational skills she learned in the course, she no longer feels the jitters that used to come with the challenging new client cases. Now, when encountering a new client, she has an added edge in dealing with them. "My job is to build relationships over time. With cold reading and threading, I can dig deeper much quicker than before."
These skills and lessons have also been helpful in her new role as a manager. As she coaches her employees on selling strategies, she makes sure to impart key nuggets from the class. For example, she teaches them the difference between being assertive and aggressive. "It's all about your intention and your approach," she explains.
Whether at work, or a small dinner party, Jaunty's lessons have been guiding and influencing Sunny's life in subtle but impactful ways. As Sunny's journey shows, even the socially gifted can benefit from some good old fashioned education.
By Eric Waisman
"Most awkward date ever," my friend told me. On a first date she'd gone to see "Fifty Shades of Grey." She said they were both really uncomfortable and couldn't wait for the lights to come up.
We definitely advocate that you don't go to any movie on a first date, and maybe not early on either. After all it's hard to get to know each other if you're just sitting quietly in the dark.
But if there's one thing I like, it's testing boundaries and pushing limits, and maybe I was feeling lazy. Also, I hadn't been to a movie in a long time. I had a second date coming up and suggested we see Birdman or Fifty Shades.
We all know what she chose. We actually had an amazing time, and I kinda liked the movie. As soon as we met, we set a very comfortable frame. You can do this by putting yourself in the mindset that you're meeting up with an old friend. Take the pressure off them by talking a bit more early on instead of asking them a lot of questions. Create trust by opening up with stories and using touch. We are not acting...we're bringing out the part of ourselves that does feel this way.
It's only awkward if you make it awkward.
That's a golden rule here at Jaunty. Something we pride ourselves on is creating frame. Listen up because this shit is the most important thing in your life. Frame is how you see the world. We talk about this a lot because having the right frame changes everything.
Have you ever had a whole new world of possibilities opened up to you in a short amount of time?
Finance: If you won the Powerball and educated yourself on managing money, your frame on wealth, resources, business, and stress would change.
Health: Imagine you live in a fast food town where most people drive everywhere and spend their free time drinking beer in front of the TV. Then you move to a health conscious city, join a gym, and create healthy eating, drinking and sleeping habits. Your frame on what you can do physically would completely change.
Social: If you work on interpersonal skills and learn to manage your social anxiety, your relationships frame completely changes.
They key is seeing slow but sure progress and validating results. Before long, you get so good that you can make going to Fifty Shades of Grey with a newer friend the most normal thing in the world. And you can make it comfortable for you and the other person. As for things with me and my date, we totally connected and want to see each other again soon. Possibly tonight.
By Fayette Fox, Jaunty's Writer and Community Manager
"I'm a weird person, I like good ads," says Andrea Misir, Jaunty's Social Media Manager. "We know people don't like be advertised to." So she's been "finding smarter and better ways" to get messages across.
At 25, Andrea, has lived her whole life in New York. She's a big foodie who wants to travel and see the world. She holds a bachelor's in Business Administration from Baruch College of the City University of New York.
"I view advertising as a way for businesses to get a hold of people who would really benefit from their products and services. Social media has evolved, becoming a part of advertising without being all up in people's faces all the time. It's great to be a part of that, connecting people with something that can improve their lives, like Jaunty workshops."
Andrea uses social media to spread the word about Jaunty's upcoming workshops, and finds compelling content to share with our audience. Lately she's been posting articles on dating, body language, quizzes, and advice. Also Buzzfeed articles, because, "Everyone likes Buzzfeed articles and everyone who doesn't like them is just in denial."
Andrea has over four years of experience in digital, mobile, and social media, working with brands like Sprint, Johnson & Johnson, Showtime, and Red Bull. She's fascinated by the psychology of advertising and laughs describing a future with targeted ads like in "Minority Report."
In addition to socializing, Andrea enjoys writing, painting, and breakdancing. She also loves singing and is, "probably one of the few people who will karaoke sober." She believes social anxiety comes from fear of rejection or being ridiculed. In high school she messed up during a performance, with her crush in the front row videotaping her. The scarf around her hip fell off, mid-routine. Everyone laughed and she felt a little embarrassed. But she just went on with the routine as if nothing even happened.
"It could have been worse," she laughs. "My pants could have fallen off!" Attending Jaunty workshops and working with Eric has helped Andrea become more aware of how she communicates. She likes weaving and working on her conversational agility.
"I've become a lot more mindful about how I interact, especially with my boyfriend. We have our disagreements, as any couple does. I've been a lot more honest. 'This is what you said. This is how I feel. What kind of solution can we come up with so this doesn't happen again?'"
In the past Andrea feels she was pretty closed about her emotions. She used to think if she "shared too much" she could come across as a petty. Eric has taught her it's okay to show your feelings.
"As long as you're honest and have open communication," Andrea says, "The other person needs to respect your emotions. If they don't, they're not a good person to be around."
By Eric Waisman
You know, it's been a while since I wore my heart on my sleeve.
It's said that during jousting matches in the Middle Ages, knights wore the handkerchief of a lady in the king's court around their arms. "This one goes out to the one I love," in the words of R.E.M's Michael Stipe - basically dedicating the jousting match to a special lady. These days we post our affections on Facebook, and it's been a while since I've seen anyone joust. But the expression's still with us. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is all about being transparent and open with your emotions. That can be scary and a lot of us try to protect ourselves by being more guarded emotionally.
In the past decade or so I've worked hard to create a lifestyle of abundance. I've been surrounded by a lot of people, friends, and women, which has made it very natural to be busy and invited to a lot of stuff. I feel blessed. I genuinely have to schedule social stuff weeks in advance.
But somewhere along the way, it's become hard for me to wear my heart on my sleeve for anything. I may have come across as super independent. Looking back, I realize in my last two relationships I was a bit distant at times. When I was struggling with something emotionally, I often tried to work through it on my own instead of confiding or seeking support from the people closest to me. Now I wonder if I've closed myself off to deeper emotional connections with people by not letting myself be more vulnerable. I kinda miss a little bit of needy.
It feels really good to be desired and to desire others. Right now I'm working on finding that balance. I'm playing with being much more vulnerable in investing in people I genuinely like and love.
How can you do this?
You can straight up tell the person that they're important to you, ask them out, or even text them back immediately whenever possible. Yep, I said it. It's all about balance and opening up. Being a bit distant and independent can be very healthy and attractive, but make sure you're showing some love, and wear your heart on your sleeve as you joust through life too. Studies have actually shown a correlation between how long relationships last, and how responsive the two people are with each other.
Lately I've been getting lots of phone numbers from new people I'm meeting, and I'm realizing how great it is to establish a responsive behavior with someone. It actually feels contagious where I want to give back that great feeling of an immediate text or phone call. Getting a text back quickly may be a great sign of great things to come.
This Valentine's Day let the awesome people in your life know that you care about them. And remember, it takes real strength to show your weaknesses. Even social dynamos need help sometimes. In fact, "heart on your sleeve" is going to be my Halloween costume this year since it's pretty scary.